Don’t People Know that Altria Owns Green Smoke Now?
A recent internet search on e-cigarettes brought up “Green Smokes” on my first page of hits.
I was interested, since I know that the company was recently bought up by Big Tobacco juggernaut Altria (producer of several lethal cigarette brands). I thought maybe the site would offer interesting additional information on the behind-the-scenes arm-twisting of the buyout.
Nothing of the sort! The Green Smokes website makes no mention of the fact that they are now owned by a major coffin nail supplier. It goes right on with talk that implies that the product is a healthy and environmentally conscious alternative, just as before. (It has to remain an implication, since the courts have ruled that companies may not come right out and say what everybody knows, or at least believes, that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking of lethal cigarettes.) Altria and other wealthy Big Tobacco juggernauts are perfectly happy to talk health and sanity out of one side of their mouths, while they continue to sell death out of the other, and the business, press, and regulatory communities seem willing to let them. Not only that, but these groups that should be protecting the public are making the assumption that Big Tobacco speaks for the vaping community! Let's hope the public is smart enough to spot the deception.
In case you've been living on Mars, please be informed that Blu, Vuse, Vype, MarkTen, and now Dragonite and Green Smokes, are e-cigarettes sold by wealthy companies that have been selling the public cancer and heart disease for over a century, and have every intention of continuing to do so. Worried by the fact that the new vaping technology is hurting their sales, they have decided to buy it, to present themselves as the saviors from the plague they introduced, and to make money on the antidote to their poison, while still selling their poison.
Meanwhile, during the early unregulated period of e-cig marketing, hundreds of small startups with CLEAN HANDS have offered products and enjoyed remarkable early success.
The business community seems blind to the ethical issues involved, and simply stands in awe of the economic clout of Big Tobacco, predicting a rout of the clean hands companies. The press seems not to notice the distinction, and continues to cluck about apparent Big Tobacco prospects. The regulators seem poised to hand the market to Big Tobacco on a platter, and make it more difficult to stay alive in the market if you've got CLEAN HANDS. Who's left to speak sense?
The PUBLIC, it seems. Vapers know who makes Vuse, Vype, MarkTen, and Blu, and who now markets Green Smokes and Dragonite. They will increasingly stay away from these products and urge the stores they patronize to get them off their shelves. Those who still must use 'cigalikes' (vaping devices that look just like lethal cigarettes) know where they can get ones made with CLEAN HANDS. As they become more sophisticated, vapers move away from cigalikes to personal vaporizers that look much cooler.
Electronic cigarette users have become a community, not just a market. And they're a pretty smart community, too. They won't take stuff like this lying down, and increasingly, they'll be able to find ways to shape the market their way, a CLEAN HANDS way.